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Creating custom stitched fabric is FUN with the PFAFF performance icon

by Sarah Vanderburgh

Summer is such a short season where I live, so it’s nice to make a bold decor piece to commemorate it. In yesterday’s post we sewed together 4 nine patches as part of the stitched cushion cover. Today we’re creating the fabric for the setting and corner triangles using a variety of built-in stitches on the PFAFF performance icon.

Stitched cushion cover sits on top of the PFAFF performance icon sewing machine

Stitched cushion cover using the PFAFF performance icon

Before we start the decorative stitching, it’s important to get the performance icon ready. We’ll need to change the needle plate and make sure we have bobbins wound for the different threads.

Change the needle plate

To select stitches from the different menus, you want to make sure you have the standard needle plate on the performance icon. There’s storage for the additional needle plate in the bottom of the performance icon’s accessory tray. I love that both needle plates come with this machine and how it’s easy to store the second one when not in use. It also makes it easy to have both with you when you take your machine to sew days or retreats.

Needle plate storage trat with 2 needle plates; PFAFF performance icon

Needle plate storage in the bottom of the accessory tray

Prepare the bobbins

There’s lots of room for several wound bobbins and rows of presser feet in the front accessory tray. I like to have a bobbin ready when I start a project even though it’s an easy process to wind bobbins on this machine.

Bobbin storage and accessory tray on the PFAFF performance icon.

Bobbin storage in the accessory tray

The bobbin winding setup is so convenient on the performance icon including its own cutter. It’s located on the top of the machine so it’s easy to see what you’re doing. The thread also goes through the telescopic thread guide so there are no tension problems when winding the bobbin. It’s also possible to wind the bobbin through the needle so you don’t have to unthread or re-thread the machine.

Bobbin winding location on the PFAFF performance icon.

Bobbin winding on top of the PFAFF performance icon

But that’s not all! There is an option to adjust the machine’s speed when winding bobbins. When you push the white lever over to the bobbin, the popup appears on the Multi-Touch Screen. The User Guide that comes with the performance icon goes through different scenarios for specialty threads as well. Again, this machine is designed for creativity!

Computer screen on the PFAFF performance icon.

Bobbin winding popup

Stitch selection

It’s easy to create a custom piece for your decor with the hundreds of built-in stitches on the performance icon. You can create a fall, birthday or winter theme using different stitches; let the performance icon stitch chart inspire you!

I took my inspiration from the florals and motifs in my prints. I wanted to create a summer look with my bright threads, and bold contrast with my green fabric.

The large Multi-Touch Screen makes it easy to select and see stitches before using them in a project. It also recommends, in the top left corner, to use a stabilizer when stitching out decorative stitches. I cut a long piece of Fast & Easy Tear-A-Way Light stabilizer to place under my green solid fabric when stitching.

Computer screen showing the stitch menu on the PFAFF performance icon.

Stitch menu popup on the Multi-Touch Screen

Then I started selecting stitches. Once I selected a stitch, I lined up the edge of my fabric at the needle and pressed the Needle Stop Up/Down function button – now I know the needle will always be in the fabric if I stop stitching. To stitch out decorative stitches, I always let the machine do the work by pressing the Start/stop button on the throat of the machine. Then I just have to keep my hands on the fabric to guide it. I can stop the stitching by pressing the foot pedal or by pressing the same button again.

After each row of stitching, I changed the thread and picked a new stitch! The first six rows of stitches make a colorful statement.

Decorative stitches from the PFAFF performance icon stitched in different colored threads on green fabric.

First six rows of stitches

PFAFF performance icon sewing machine set on a brown table.

PFAFF performance icon

Tomorrow, we’ll add some more rows of decorative stitches using the PFAFF performance icon.

This is part 2 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 1: More is more with a quilted maximalist cushion cover (easy piecing)

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1 comment

Kaye Henry June 21, 2022 - 3:18 pm

Thanks for the reminder to use decorative stitches in your quilting! This should save some headaches looking for the right color or print to finish a fabric collection for a quilt. And it’s fun to try out some of the stitches no matter what machine you use! The stitches can fill in times when you don’t have time to get into a project but want to stitch something.

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